Spring golf is a crap-shoot in my area. The weather is so unpredictable that forecasting when we play an entire 18 holes is a challenge. In years past, I have played a full round as early as 8 April, but alas this year it was on 1 June! Regardless, my golf season has officially started in earnest because I can loop the entire course at Osprey Links. So, what is next?
As I walked the entire 18 holes, I felt grateful to be playing. With all the turmoil occurring in North America, my little piece of heaven is almost unspoiled. We have many COVID-19 protocols in place, but once I hit the links I feel transported to another world where I can become lost in my happy thoughts and relish in my beautiful surroundings for 3.5 hours. This may seem a little utopic, however not to acknowledge this blessing seems to cheapen the experience.
My first round of golf went pretty well as expected. I shot a unimpressive 78 with 7 bogies, 1 double, 2 birdies and 8 pars. I did fight my swing for a few holes, but generally the conditions predicted my results. The course was very wet (as per usual for this time of year), especially the front 9. We received a tremendous amount of rain on the weekend as a result, there was casual water everywhere. Additionally, you know things are wet at Osprey Links when they do not allow power carts on the course. So, we walked the 18 holes and spent some time avoid the standing water.
With the start of 18 hole loops, I am keeping more detailed stats. As mentioned before, I am keeping the standard fairway, GIR and putts. In addition, I have added a new stat of distance of my first putt (overall) and distance of my first putt for a GIR. I only have one round with the numbers so I cannot really comment on the importance of this information, but I will shortly. So, please stay tuned.
Interestingly, during this round I played all the par 3 (5 in total on our course) at 1 under par. I was on in regulation 4 of the 5 holes. This was a boon for me because I generally play them at 2 over or so. For some reason the greens felt huge and hitting them off the tee just felt natural. I hope this feeling continues.
Conversely, I did not play the par 5s very well. I shot 1 over for the four with 2 bogies, 1 par and 1 birdie. The worst part is that I was not in any real trouble on any of the holes. I just hit one poor shot on the bogey holes that lead to me scrambling to keep the overall number down. It was a bit frustrating, but that is the nature of my game this early in the season.
Course conditions did have an impact on my short game. Especially the front where we dodged puddles of standing water for the entire time. I was forced to pick the ball on many shots withing 125 yards and the is really not my game. I like to take a divot, but it was just too wet. As such, the results of most of my approach shots were not as exacting as I had hoped. Alas, that is the nature of the course this time of year and I am still very grateful to be looping for 18 holes.
My first full round of golf is in the books. I am happy to be playing all 18 holes and I look forward to hitting the links today. I do not have any secret plans to lower my score, yet, because I am still in the positive mindset of playing an entire round. If I was going to focus on something, it will be playing in the moment and enjoying my time playing Osprey Links.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “My First 18 Holes of the 2020 Golf Season”
When you say you had to pick the ball, I assume you mean sweep the ball? As in take no divot? That’s never been a strategy that worked for me. Wet ground just makes it all the more important to hit ball first because I’m taking a divot no matter what. I don’t take real deep ones anymore generally, but I almost always seem to make one. But imagining how to accomplish what you were trying makes me think I might be heading in that direction. I’ve done the work to hit ball first. Of course, I need more practice at it still, but I’m far better at it than before and that’s made playing in the wet easier. But if I add in a little more shaft lean, get just a little more hands forward at impact like I’d eventually like to be, I would probably also be effectively shallowing out the path of the club through impact enough to come somewhere in the ball part of doing what you describe. Take the ball and shave some grass with it, but take little or no turf.
Someday. Until then, I don’t care how wet it is, I’m taking a divot. In the wet, I want to be almost as aggressive as I can. The greens are soft. The ball will hit and stick if you can get it in the air. I’m going for the pin with whatever club will allow me to swing around 80%. I want aggressive, but controlled and I’m more likely to hit the sweet spot at 80% than most any other speed. The wet magnifies mistakes and an 80% swing speed helps me minimize them. The ball won’t rise quite as high, but it won’t need to.
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Yes, I mean sweep the ball and take no divot. I generally take about an inch deep divot, so in the we ground that becomes a bit more and causes many challenges to hitting a solid shot. I do work on it from time to time, but try to focus on the 80% requirements. It is important to have many shots in our bag, but there are limitations on skill and time (on my side). Regardless, I am happy to be playing 18 holes regardless of the conditions.